The up-and-coming award-winning apprentice on her late entry to the industry and her passion for gender-fluid hair. 

Barbering was the one job… that I said I wouldn’t do when I was younger. Because my mum was a barber, and my grandad was a barber, I really didn’t want to do what they did. 

But now I’m an apprentice… at Joe and Co in Soho. I was in recruitment before and enjoyed the money but, after an experience in a cool salon in Stoke Newington, I couldn’t believe how different it was to my grandad’s old-school barber shop. Looking for a new challenge, I decided to give barbering a go.

It turns out I’m not too bad… as I recently won the Raw Talent Barbering Competition 2022 in the postgraduate category, which I came runner-up in last year. I’m also the Concept Hair Barber Level 3 2022 winner and the Fellowship Hair 2022 Spotlight winner. 

I love how hair makes an impact… on you, your identity, and the way that you view yourself. Being able to provide a service that makes someone feel good – even at a time when their life or situation might not be so great – is amazing. 

Being able to explore myself creatively… as a barber is fascinating. Coming from the corporate world and having to conform to a certain look, I love that I can be myself in this industry, and that clients will gravitate to me for my services because they like what I do and who I am, as opposed to me trying to fish for a client. 

I’ve grown such a passion… for doing creative, longer haircuts for men, and combining barbering and hairdressing (which I’m now studying too). I like being able to be more gender-fluid with my work and making the hair suit the person, not their gender. 

Apprenticeships are so important… because you really get the time to learn on the job and grow within that team and salon. I like to ask questions and I like to watch, and as an apprentice I get to do that. 

I came into the industry as an older starter at 25… which I was concerned about. It was a massive change for me – I had to move back in with my parents, and I was attending college with 17- and 18-year-olds. But I think this made me more motivated to learn and progress, because I felt that, being older, I had no time to waste. 

A big influence has been… Hayden Cassidy, as she was the first female I came across in the industry doing the kind of stuff I wanted to do. And, obviously, Joe and Charlie at Joe and Co, because they strive to be great at everything – from consultations and customer service to haircuts and latest trends.